Friday 5: Key players who will propel the Cleveland Indians to the top

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Carlos Santana

A frustratingly slow starter, Santana has not given the Tribe any significant production to date.

That may be unfair to say given his six home runs and 27 RBIs, both of which are good for second on the team, but he has been the source of far too many rally killers this season. While he is a notoriously slow starter, Santana has to pick up the pace wedged between the Tribe’s two best hitters – Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley – in order for the Indians to create a more consistent offense.

Since moving into the No. 2 spot in the lineup 21 games ago, Santana is hitting just .228 with three home runs and 14 RBIs. He leads the American League in walks, as usual, and is doing his part to get on base at a relatively high clip. But that doesn’t excuse his low average and power numbers.

It was about this time last year when Santana started to heat up for the Tribe when he hit .308 and .313 in June and July. Should he rattle off a couple more months like that, combined with a .260 post-All Star break average, the Tribe will be in great shape heading into the stretch run.

It never hurts to have guys on base when Brantley steps to the dish.

Next: He's finally turning the corner...and heading for home